Rural Health Innovation Weekend


What is Rural Health Innovation Weekend?

The OSU Center for Health Systems Innovation is proud to host a weekend event that will provide aspiring entrepreneurs from all professions the opportunity to work together to solve complex problems and bring innovative ideas to life that are focused on rural healthcare.

The purpose of this event is to gather people from different backgrounds to work together on developing new services or products that will benefit rural healthcare.

View more photos from the event!

General Information:

Photo of OSU Alumni Center with the garden.


Last year the Rural Health Innovation Weekend was held at ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.
201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078

Keynote Speakers:

The 2016 RHIW weekend kicked off with Dr. Steve North, an accomplished rural health innovator and national telemedicine expert, followed by Marie Moran, a Stanford University trained design thinking consultant with clients including Boeing, Google, 3M, and healthcare entities. Read more about them here.


The cost of the event is $50.00. The fee is waived for all student participants. The fee includes food provided through out the weekend and fun swag for the participants.


You can view last year’s agenda for the weekend here.


RHIW thanks the Center for Executive and Professional Development (CEPD) for managing our registration! If you have not attended a CEPD event before, you will be asked to set up an account as part of enrollment. For assistance with registration call CEPD at 405-744-5208 or 866-678-3933.

Hotel Accommodation:

If you need to book a hotel in Stillwater for the weekend, we recommend choosing the Best Western Cimarron. We have a block of rooms reserved here. The group rate is guaranteed if you book by October 4th. Please call the hotel at (405)-372-2878 and reference our group: Center for Health Systems Innovation. Both single and double rooms are available for the weekend.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

Interested in sponsoring the event? Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact us!

Judging and Prize Money:

Each team will present their solution on Sunday.  Judges will select first, second and third place winners. First place will be awarded $3,000. Second place will be awarded $2,000.  Third place will be awarded $1,000.


Why focus on Rural Healthcare?

40% of the Oklahoma population is in a rural area.
Most rural areas are identified as Primary Care Shortage Areas. This is a growing problem for rural America.

  • Rural populations are both aging and growing, therefore, demand for primary care is increasing faster in rural areas.
  • The large number of aging and retiring physicians and nurses in rural Oklahoma compounds the shortage problem.
  • Rural OK Primary Care providers work with higher risk populations: more chronic, more unhealthy behaviors, and fewer personal and community resources.
  • Adding more providers is not the lone solution.


Why attend Rural Healthcare Innovation Weekend?

  • Education
  • Networking
  • Actually start a business; build a prototype or develop a service that solves a problem focused on rural healthcare
  • Learn something new
Before The Event:

Where will the event be held?

See ‘General Information’ – ‘Location‘.

How much does it cost to participate?

See ‘General Information’ – ‘Cost‘.

How do I register for this event?

See ‘General Information’ – ‘Register‘.

What kind of ideas can I pitch?

Participant pitching his idea.

Any business (service or prototype) ideas are eligible (whether for-profit, ‘social’ businesses, non-profit organizations, etc.) that benefit rural healthcare.

We encourage you to think about solutions for these rural healthcare issues:

  • Access to care
  • Efficient utilization of clinical operations
  • Management of high risk rural populations

How do I prepare?

All registered participants will receive an email with material to look over ahead of time that will provide them more detail of what to expect of them during the innovation weekend. Materials will include: map of location, templates for pitch and presentation, biographies of speakers and judging criteria.

  • If you plan on pitching an idea:
    • Do as much research/preparation around your idea as you feel is necessary to give a persuasive pitch and attract a team.
    • Boil the idea down to the basics: with 60 seconds, you only really have time for a hook, so pull out the most attractive high level key points of the idea.
    • Practice your pitch using a timer!

Can I attend without presenting?

No. Apart from organizers, selected mentors, speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate on a team. This is important not only to preserve the flow of the weekend but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams.

Do I have to pitch an idea?

A group pitching their idea

No. There are several ways to be involved during this event:

  • Come pitch a solution or prototype to solve a problem you want a team to work on and take to the next level
  • Come to participate on a team to develop a solution or build a prototype for a problem you are passionate about and offer your expertise

Can I come with a team already formed?

Yes. However, the point of the innovation weekend is to work with people you have never met before who can offer a different perspective to the project. You may have members in mind to work on the project but be prepared for the organizer to put some additional members to the team if there is not enough variance among backgrounds and expertise.

What should I bring?

  • Laptop (Don’t forget your power cord!)
  • Business cards
  • Camera
  • Creative energy to think outside of the box!
During the Event:

What is the Agenda for the weekend?

  • Friday Night November 13th
    Registration will open at 5:00 PM. Participants can begin networking, and eat dinner. At 6:00 PM there will be a quick welcome and guest speaker to set the tone for the weekend! Then at 7:00 PM the pitches will begin: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch. No presentations or props needed for Friday. It will just be you and a microphone. After pitches are finished, all attendees will vote on their favorites, and using these votes the top ideas will be selected to be worked on over the weekend. Teams will form, consolidate, and begin working.
  • Saturday November 14th
    The morning session will be kicked off at 8:00 AM by a guest speaker that will go through specific items for the team to think about for the success of their projects. Mentors will be circulating most of the day to provide concrete advice in the field of their expertise for those teams that want it.
  • Sunday November 15th
    Teams will work uninterrupted from 8:00 AM in the morning until 11:00 AM. They’ll begin wrapping up their product/prototype and/or presentation around 11:30 PM to do tech-checks and practice their demonstration.
    Presentations will begin at 1:30 PM and each team typically has 5 minutes plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the judges The judges will select the winning team, give out prizes, and the event will conclude at 3:00 PM

Am I expected to work nonstop for the entire weekend?

No. Certain teams will decide to work all through Friday and/or Saturday night, but this is by no means obligatory or expected. We will give you venue hours upon your arrival and the team can then decide how long they want to work.

What resources/assistance is provided over the weekend?

A key part of the Rural Health Innovation Weekend is the valuable advice and assistance provided by the event’s speakers and mentors. Talks will focus on practical issues that can actually help you and your team better achieve your weekend goals.

Mentors include community experts in various fields ranging from Medical, entrepreneurship, software development, marketing, finance, law, and more – that dedicate their time to providing advice and actually rolling up their sleeves and working with teams.

What is supposed to be accomplished/presented on Sunday?

There will be a template given to registered participants that will guide them on what type of content should be included in the presentation on Sunday. It’s in your best interest to plan your presentation around what your project will be judged on. Topics such as: Customer Validation, Business Model, and Execution. As far as presenting some of the most common presentations include any of the combination (in no particular order):

  • Slide decks (Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
  • Wireframes or fully developed website;
  • Mobile Apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully functional)
  • Videos (i.e. product demonstrations, etc.) Live product demos
  • Skits
  • Have fun!!

For more information:

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Systems Innovation
810 S. Cincinnati, Suite 112
Tulsa, OK 74119
Phone: 918-561-1155